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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Dec 7, 2011 2:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Van Halen's 2004 Summer tour was by far the loudest I've ever heard. I had temporary hearing loss for 2 days. I've had muffled hearing for hours after a show, but nothing compares to what Van Halen did to my ears.

To make this Dead related. Does anybody know how their loudness varied through the years? I know they cranked those amps in the '60s, but not sure about the '70s, or '80s. How was the sound at those huge stadiums? How loud did they play in comparison to other bands?

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Poster: high flow Date: Dec 8, 2011 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Los Lobos @ Fillmore SF.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Dec 7, 2011 7:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Face it, the one commodity the Grateful Dead were experts at was consistently high quality concert sound. The sound crew learned monumental lessons during 1974 about what not to do with professional audio gear and how to protect a systems limitations. Sometimes in life it isn't always what you know as much as "what not to do!".

Loudest show ever?

http://tinyurl.com/6taandl

Hot Tuna Live - Aragon Ballroom Chicago 11/24/72.

Jorma, Jack and Co. had stacks of Marshall Amplifiers, Custom JBL Enclosures, PA speakers etc. a monumental pile of gear for such a small room to say the least. Our ears rang for two days after.


Jefferson Airplane - Auditorium Theater August 24th, 1972

This was simply the better show, both performance and sound quality. There were tape recorders at the soundboard this fine evening, my guess is that this was the tour recording tracks for "30 Seconds Over Winterland".

You'd think that there was some sort of monumental gear competition with their peers.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Last Exit at the old Knitting Factory on Houston Street in NYC.

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Poster: Scrim Date: Dec 8, 2011 9:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Molly Hatchet, Anchorage, 1993

A stadium-sized sound system packed into a bar

My ears rang for 3 days afterwords

I always bring ear protection to a concert now, just in case some fool turns it up to 11

my ears are ringing thinking about it

Damn

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Dec 8, 2011 10:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

What did you say?

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Dec 8, 2011 9:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Jefferson Starship at the Paramount in Denver, 91 I think it was.Jack and Papa John was with them and they played most of Blows Against the Empire so this wasn't your sisters Starship. WAY unescessarily loud. I'm convinced it cause me hearing damage if my ears were affected for two days.

As for the Dead I was always amazed at how loud it could seem without leaving the show with any ringing like most " rock" concerts. I'm convinced it's due to the same thing that many are mentioning - clean sound quality.

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Dec 9, 2011 1:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Hands down the loudest sound: Monster trucks in a civic center. You absolutely can NOT sit there without your plugs in. Took some of my critters a couple of years ago. My six year-old looked up at me and says, "My nutty-buddies are shakin'!!"

After that, I don't know. Maybe, Nickelback a couple of years ago. Or, Cheap Trick in a college gym in the '80s.

I saw the GD in the Omni and at the civic center in B'ham: didn't think any of those shows were very loud.

I did see the Stones twice on the same tour when Living Colour opened for them. Outside at Legion Field, we could talk over LC but the Stones sounded good. Inside at the Superdome, LC sounded just right and the Stones were way too loud and reverby to enjoy.

Judge TOOTMO

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Poster: joeken Date: Dec 7, 2011 6:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Always thought the Dead were reasonably restrained at the indoor shows I saw. Loud but not overwhelming. The loudest I saw were probably the first two for me, the Portland Coliseum in 1973 and 1974.
The loudest show I ever was at had to be Humble Pie at the Portland Paramount Theater circa 1974. General admission, we got seventh row seats on stage right in front of the speakers. My ears rang for two days after and I am sure I still have some hearing loss from it. But DAMN it was fun! Hallelujah I Just Loved It So!

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Poster: yesss! Date: Dec 7, 2011 9:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

you were at the 5/19/74 show at the memorial coliseum?! that is one of my favorite shows of all time- did it stand out as a great show at the time? was it a good crowd? did the boys seem to be excited?

i know this is off-topic, but i have listened to that show a whole lot over the years and always wondered what the actual experience was like. any recollections of the night would be fun for me to read.

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Poster: joeken Date: Dec 7, 2011 9:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Off topic, reply for yesss!

Yess, I completely share your love for this show! I try to be objective but still feel this was one of their all time best.
Went with about six friends and we all became hooked for life! General admission so we got there early and were about 12 rows back. Steel folding chairs on the floor bolted together in groups of eight, after the first song people started folding, lifting and moving them out to the side so there was room to dance. Many people getting smacked aroud by these unruly monsters but nobody seemed to mind.
The crowd was completely pumped for this, no thought of setting down. Mostly just low grade weed in those days, people would light one, send it to the left and light another, send it to the left, etc... very impressive level of sharing.
The only flaw to the first set was the extensive between song tunings, which are mostly edited out on the Archive. A cool thing was the crowd shouting out song requests and then hearing them played. The outstanding China / Rider closer left everyone exhausted and almost overwhelmed.
What can I say about that second set. Amazing! One memory is the amount of eye contact that Bob and Jerry and Donna made with the crowd. You felt like they were singing to you. Another was Phil hitting notes that would actually shake you balls! No shit, he'd hit those notes and all the guys would be looking around like "did you feel that?" Don't know how it effected the women.
And I remember groovin' big time to GDTRFB, it was like the perfect release after that intense set. Still one of my favorite songs.
Afterward I could not believe how long the show lasted. After editing this show is almost three hours, with the set break and between song noodling, we were there well over four hours.
Thanks for asking about it, left me hooked for life and still very much lovin it. Glad you do too!

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Poster: yesss! Date: Dec 8, 2011 1:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Off topic, reply for yesss!

thank you for this! i absolutely love this show and have always been curious to hear a first hand account. sounds like it was a blast and, as that china>rider is one of my personal peak GD moments, i am glad to hear that it was as good in the moment as what i have experienced on tape. love it. when i saw the blazers play in the coliseum last year i visualized the stage placement and wall of sound during the game and tried to picture the scene. must have been fun! thanks again. cheers.

This post was modified by yesss! on 2011-12-08 09:22:23

This post was modified by yesss! on 2011-12-08 09:46:13

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Poster: joeken Date: Dec 9, 2011 5:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Off topic, reply for yesss!

Thanks for your kind reply. I'd had about 3 (or 4) Bridgeport IPA's when I wrote it, so was afraid it was a rambling mess. If you saw the Blazers, it was probably in the Rose Garden, not the Coliseum, the Rose Garden is much bigger. Coliseum seats 12,666 for basketball, so maybe 14,000 and change with the floor in use. Saw Further there in 2010 and was surprised at how small it seemed. Looked a lot bigger in 1974! Easily one of the best shows I've seen, 12-31-76 being a close second.
And if you haven't, check out the Dark Star > Eyes > China Doll from Portland 6-24-1973.
Best wishes, Joe
The Wall Of Sound! You've seen pictures, But in person it was.... Ever been to the Grand Canyon? Seen pictures of it all your life, but when you see it in person you REALLY appreciate its majesty.

This post was modified by joeken on 2011-12-10 01:45:00

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Dec 8, 2011 1:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Off topic, reply for yesss!

Thanks so much for that story too! This is one of my all-time favorite shows as well and having these insights to read is priceless to me, considering I never got to see the band live :(

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Poster: CharlieMiller Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

GD 10/11/83 MSG

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Dec 8, 2011 6:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Those early 80's shows at the garden were loud 82 as well - remember having ears ringing for day after each of those and going back second night still ringing

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Dec 8, 2011 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

MSG 10/11/1983 was pretty darn loud...but I think the crowd noise when St Stephen started was louder than the band.

The loudest Dead show I attended was http://www.archive.org/details/gd82-03-13.martin.warner.21918.sbeok.flacf

There was point in the show where it felt like the sound went through one ear right through the middle of my brain and then roaring out the other ear...there were people freaking out all around me, sonic bombarment.

There was one time (don't recall the year) in Ventura where they played Little Red Rooster so loud I watched a woman collapse when Phil dropped a nuclear bomb on us...again lots of people freaking out as it occured.

A show in Hartford when they did Louie Louie, the slide parts on Sampson and D was excrutiatingly loud...

I think the peak levels at a Dead show could be louder than anything any other band can put out, it's just that they didn't keep it there the whole stinking show.

Probabaly the loudest thing I've subjected my ears to was an Indigo Girls show at the Paramount in SEA. 2500 seats, two chicks with acoustic guitars, and they blasted it so loud and distorted that I left...it was horrible. Unlistenable garbeled garbage. The sound guy for that facility must be deaf.




This post was modified by Little Sense on 2011-12-08 17:54:50

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Were the stadiums always much louder? For example if they went from Radio City, to MSG on the same tour, could you expect the MSG show to be much louder?

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Poster: utopian Date: Dec 7, 2011 9:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

12-26-79 has a unique story behind its introduction of the Meyer hd 1 sound

Reviewer: Mark Scalise - - June 29, 2010
Subject: searching for the sound
This show also premiered the first of the great Meyer/UltraSound PAs. Excerpt from http://mixonline.com/live/applications/audio_necessity_mothers_invention/

As it turned out, for the grand experimenters, even the best rental systems didn't suffice. For the Dead's 1979 New Years Eve show at Oakland Auditorium, Healy and Starship soundman Don Pearson pooled their favorite components. The resulting five-way stereo system took days to assemble. Among other features, it had specially welded frames that held giant tweeter arrays. Horseshoe magnets served as air-motion [ribbon] transformers that were assembled in long vertical arrays and hung from scaffolding. Pearson says, “We built custom crossovers so we could align the individual components in time. It was, actually, the first-ever Time-Aligned™ live sound system.” [Eds. note: Time-Aligned™ is a trademark of E.M. Long and Associates.] It was also, according to Healy, such a great-sounding system that “we decided to get back into the business.”

“It was probably the best-sounding P.A. we ever did — to date!” adds Pearson. “It's interesting to note that back then we were working on a technology design that just now is becoming very in vogue. We're currently seeing the advent of ribbon speakers, something we were using in 1978!”

The system put together that night evolved into a company owned by Pearson and Howard Danchik that serviced both the Dead and Starship. In 1979, Meyer's newly patented ACD studio monitors caught the ears of Starship and their monitor mixer, Owsley Stanley; the reaction was immediate. “Owsley went out and raised capital for us to build the first Ultra Monitors for Starship,” says Pearson. “They were John Meyer's first official product. Then we built Starship a P.A. and then the Dead had to have one.”


--
I pasted that in from a review I remember reading a while back.

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Poster: utopian Date: Dec 7, 2011 9:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

My first show was 9 months later in lewiston, Maine.
9-6-80, which was THE loudest dead show i ever attended.

The deads sound in general was very very different show to show, night to night year to year. I found myself wanting and a little aggravated with the consistency of what their system sounded like to my ears. I always wanted more volume. You had to search out the the sweet spot, stadium shows you just had to be down low and that sound was easily the cleanest deepest I have ever heard. hockey barn/ theatre shows were more strict on the seating policy's? You could get fucked in the netherzones rather easily. I remember a behind the stage ticket that
Actually sounded great.

Cal expo may have been the tops
Deer creek was loud especially outside on the lawn right below the repeaters, merriweather esque
Spectrum was the worst sounding shows for me, Always
Nassau was better than average for the barns
Boston Garden descent not great





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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Dec 8, 2011 11:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

Greek Theater in Berkely had the best sound, hands down, nothing even close. If you got one of the thrones in the middle you were in sonic heaven! Almost like full body headphones.

The Philthy Rectum definitly sounded horrible. Great shows, but you had to work for it.

I had experiences at MSG where it was not loud enough, we would cup our hands behind the ears and focus the sound in order to block out the yackers and sing-alongs, not to mention the white guy got no rythmn clappers.

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Poster: utopian Date: Dec 8, 2011 1:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

Ha ha, yea I remember cupping my ears too!

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Dec 8, 2011 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

I agree re Greek and Spectrum, but I found MSG to have great sound on the floor (was a few rows in front of soundboard for the LaBamba/Dew show).

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Poster: cberg Date: Dec 8, 2011 7:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show ....and one of my favorites too

agreed...cal expo...the best!!

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Poster: revolutionaryhamstrung Date: Dec 8, 2011 7:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Loudest Dead Show? -6/20/83 Merriweather. I was second row orchestra pit in front of Jerry. It was extremely loud down there, but even louder as you went furthur back into the pavillion. That show had crazy, reckless energy, with Phil dropping bombs left and right, Bobby on another planet. Maybe they were trying to battle the thunderstorm outside by cranking it up???
Loudest non-GD show. Screaming Trees, Lemonheads and Das Damen, Mothers Day 1992 Hammerjacks, Baltimore. There were about 100 people in a 1000 person concert hall. Eardrum bursting loudness and no enough bodies to absorb it

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Dec 8, 2011 7:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

The Dead had the fullest and cleanest sound of any band out there in 1973. Their loudness was never a problem. That year my friend turned me onto Lee Sonic Ear Valves. These ear protectors came out in the 1960s. The Air Valves would close automatically, instantly, and seamlessly during loud noises. When closed, the valve attenuated sounds and protected your ears from dangerously loud noises. I would bring them with me to concerts to protect my hearing, especially if my seats ended up being directly in front of a loud PA. I remember using them several times at concerts in 1973 and 1974, and they saved my hearing.

leesonicinstructionsL.jpg

I always used my Lee Sonic Ear Valves when I rode the NYC subways. Having them in your ears would significantly attenuate higher frequencies, even while the valves are normally open. It was a huge benefit using ear valves to reduce all that loud squealing produced by the NYC subways. There were a few periods when I rode the subways a lot. My hearing is still pretty decent these days. I'm glad I used air valves.

leesonicearvalvesL.jpg

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJeff Kaplan Date: Dec 7, 2011 6:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

1. Hot Tuna, Academy of Music 1973 Row AA right in front of the mains.
2. Deep Purple, Asbury Park Convention Hall, 1972 or 73.
3. Rolling Stones Madison Square Garden 1972.

Decibels alone does not make it so "loud", it's the amount of distortion and the dynamics. The Wall of Sound was quite loud but almost distortion free. And the Dead have a lot of dynamics so it's not a barrage of sound like some bands.

This post was modified by Jeff Kaplan on 2011-12-08 02:50:01

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

I saw Purple in '04 and now that I think of it they were one of the loudest I've heard yet as well. Some people that brought children had to leave because they were afraid it would forever damage their ears.

Though I didn't see them in their prime obviously, Thin Lizzy was another one of the loudest shows I ever heard.

Absolutely nothing compared to Van Halen though. Did anyone else attend the '04 summer tour? I read a review of that tour by a reputable reviewer who has been to thousands of shows, and said he's never heard a louder show.

I'm pretty sure it was in at the Continental Arena(now the Izod Center, yuck). I believe due to the acoustics of that building, the sound was amplified and sounded even louder than intended. I could barely make out any words Sammy was screaming into the mic, but they put on a hell of show, Eddie was god for a night, and it was one of the most fun and invigorating crowds I've ever been a part of.

DS, in that Tuna clip you posted, one can certainly tell that guitar was being played at a blistering volume. When I saw Tuna over the summer at Mountain Jam, I could barely fucking hear them! They really lost their intensity, but I think they're going for a different sound.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Dec 8, 2011 5:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Aerosmith, Stabler Arena, Bethlehem PA, 1985 (maybe 4 or 6)

6,000 seat venue w/ a sound system geared for venues 3 times that size.

Van Halen was close when I saw them in Providence, RI in the early 80's.

Compared to those two I never thought of the Dead as particularly loud.

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Poster: chris in long beach Date: Dec 8, 2011 6:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

The Ramones:1993

Of course my dumbass had to get right up front :)

I HATE loud shows, there's no reason for it. I think a band should be loud enough where you have to speak a little above normal so that the person next to you can hear you.

I mean, loud shows sound like shit.

I also saw Metallica in 93, and it was so loud and distorted that I could barley make out what they were playing (and I was a hardcore Metallica fan at the time).

Oddly enough, things can go the other way...

I saw Randy Newman at Disney Hall in LA, and the music was so soft that you could hear someone coughing from across the hall!

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Dec 8, 2011 1:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

You have a real good point; sometimes louder doesn't have more impact, just screechy noise . I saw the Ramones at Royce Hall (UCLA) in 79, a serious concert hall, and it was pretty good ( and ALOT of fun!), loud but not too loud, lots of power . Still, considering this was concert hall, they didn't sound that good ( The Dead had already spoiled me for Rock sound) . I saw them in 84 at a gym on UCSD San Diego . Painfully loud, but no impact, just hight end screech . I"m gonna guess the metal celling, and concrete walls didn't help .
Only time it was too loud at a Dead related thing, was when I saw Garcia at the Beverly Theater ( 83?) . I was front row... but the pa stack was like 6 ft in front of me ! It was so loud,it was overwhelming my hearing (any one else have this happen?)I really couldn't make out what he was playing ! I moved to the back of this small theater , in the center, and it was great .

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Dec 8, 2011 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

I'm pretty sure widespread panic at the riverside in Milwaukee, was either last year or two years ago. We were on the floor and it was LOUD. Only show I've been to where my hearing was effected the next day and I'm sure it contributed to my hearing loss

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Dec 8, 2011 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Voivod followed by Soundgarden followed by headliner Danzig at the Stone circa '85 (?). Those that saw Jer there know it's a small room. The amps went to 11.

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Poster: Edsel Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Loudest was Blue Cheer at The Western Front. I thought it was strange when they nailed the drums to the floor. Later I discovered that by laying flat on the floor most of the carnage passed over.
Grand Funk RR and AC/DC round out the worst of it. I departed both shows due to fear of hearing loss. They sounded great sitting curbside.
Always looked foreward to hearing the sound systems at Dead shows. Pure, clean, power. After that bug bit 'em, nothing else ever compared.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Dec 7, 2011 8:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU5uDozoSSM

Blue Cheer

My oldest brother attended shows in the mid to late 60s in Chicago. Acts such as Hendrix, Blue Cheer and the Dead at venues such as the Kinetic Playground and the Electric Theatre. Blue Cheer sounds sorta like an Iron Butterfly take on The Cream. Certainly influenced Savoy Brown and Foghat.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincebus_Eruptum

Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum

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Poster: cberg Date: Dec 8, 2011 10:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Loudest Show You've Been To? Dead-related

Dinosour JR 1988....